Tech Inspectors: The B.C. Inspection Tool Box

Earlier I posted about the “Laser Sizing Boxes” that we have developed in British Columbia to make robot sizing more precise and efficient. I mentioned that it also allows me to carry four sizing boxes to an event, all tucked up inside a tool case. I thought I’d take a moment to share what else we pack along inside the tech inspection toolbox.

Some of the key items tucked away in there:

Green painter’s masking tape, for sticking the lasers to the wall and the sizing panels to the floor.
18" long dowels for height verification (the lasers don’t do height… and there is a lovely irony in using both high tech lasers and “a stick” as sizing tools.)
Charged batteries for the laser boxes.
Custom trophy plates for the next tournament (not really a tech inspection thing… I just had the trophy plates with me at the time.)
Tech inspection forms, pre-printed for the event.
Three Competition Switches for testing auto and disable modes.
Four laser sizing boxes
Sizing templates for the laser sizing boxes, folded in half.
Envelope containing VRC robot rules, tech inspection guides and other relevant documents (such as the Q&A’s SG14 interpretation of what 36" expansion means)
Additional #32 and #64 rubber bands, both for size reference and to give teams to replace any banned bands.
Reference samples of approved thicknesses of non-shattering plastic.
Legal Zip Ties, again as reference and to replace illicit ties.
A file, for those sharp corners.
Screwdriver and nut driver for adjusting the laser sizing box.
Pens. Lots of Pens. Lots and Lots and Lots of Pens. Or pencils.
Spare team number plates, just in case someone needs them. (They also make good name tags.)
There is a photo showing three of the laser boxes set up for sizing. (We only had 52 teams at this event, so I didn’t set up the fourth.) I set the lasers up 36" apart so if there was ever an expansion measurement required we could just place the robot between the beams.)

Missing from the box is some legal 1/8" nylon braided rope and an old hockey stick for beating veteran teams who show up without their batteries and controller. I’m not allowed to use the stick any more.

About the only other thing you need for inspection are a team of volunteer tech inspectors. I tried fitting one of the smaller ones in there once, but was persuaded that was a bad thing for volunteer morale.


Photos or didn’t happen!

Oh sure… have you ever tried taking photos while trying to fit a tech inspector into a toolbox? It’s tough enough getting them in there without trying to pose and say “Cheese” at the same time!